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Guardiola Opens Up On De Bruyne Position On The Team Despite Registering 12th EPL Assist

Kingsley Ikechi
Guardiola admits to intentionally keeping Kevin de Bruyne on the bench as he claims it’s a tactical decision.

It’s all tactical for Guardiola, who has suggested that Kevin De Bruyne could be overlooked in Manchester City games if Pep Guardiola wants more bodies in the box, a strategy which seem to be working for city in recent times.

The Belgian star has always been a standout performer for City, but squad depth allows for new tactics, which may force the player to sit on the bench.

De Bruyne, who was benched against Tottenham this week in a comeback win, had his manager explain that his replacement Julian Alvarez was chosen for tactical reasons.

Talisman De Bruyne returned to the starting lineup against Wolves, replacing Alvarez, and responded with a lovely assist for Erling Haaland to open the scoring for City.

The pair are both excelling at their jobs, and one has to wonder what the future holds for both players, who are eager for more playing time. Bit Giardiola has proven up to the task by devising tactics that can be carried by any of the players when needed.

That was the Belgian’s 12th league assist of the season, and he is closing in on his own joint-record of 20 in a single season.

Guardiola hinted after the wolves game that he could drop De Bruyne again if the tactics demanded it, and that squad rotation was necessary among the players. He said:

“Seven years we know each other very well. I know when Kevin is ready and sometimes not. It’s normal, There are many games. Sometimes we need another type of player in that position. Sometimes we need more players in the boxes and Kevin struggles a bit right there.”

“Kevin, always you expect him to assist the ball – but how many assists does he provide that were not converted, don’t count as an assist but really is. It was a good 75 minutes but keep going. Big competition in the squad. Some games need a specific player that Kevin for example struggles a little bit.” He added.

Guardiola has frequently used De Bruyne as a big-game player, and it was notable that the Belgian was an unused substitute against Spurs, especially given Guardiola’s later comments that he saw no options on his bench that would change the game.

Guardiola, however, insisted that there are no doubts about De Bruyne’s quality, and that any rotation is simply to manage City’s fixture load.

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